WICHITA, Kansas – Fighters with the terrorist group ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have made a blitzkrieg-like strike into the heart of Iraq in the last week.
The militant group of nearly 5,000 people has occupied Mosul, Tikrit, Fallujah and are now looking to capture Baghdad.
The unrest has some veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom feeling uneasy.
Rex Pennick served as a U.S. Army Specialist during the early parts of the war.
His maintenance unit was responsible for working on conveys and infantry groups.
He says his service of more than a year in the country included poor living conditions and constant attacks from the enemy.
“It was an every day event about, 360 something mortars the time I was there.” said Pennick.
The Wichita veteran is one of nearly 2 million American troops that fought in the war.
As he follows the conflict in Iraq, Pennick questions whether the current situation will erase the accomplishments of so many who’ve fought and died since we first deployed to Iraq in 2001.
“It makes me feel like what we did was a waste and if we go back over there and lose more soldiers, it’s going to be another waste,” said Pennick.
Pennick adds that he’s also hopeful a decision will be made to not deploy to Iraq again.
“The troops that have come back from over there haven’t been taken care of and were going to send more over there, to lose troops, and come back injured,” said Pennick.
KSN reached out to the group, Gold Star Mothers of Wichita, a group compromised of mothers who’ve lost a loved one in a war.
Due to the emotional topic, they declined to comment on camera, but did tell KSN they are also hopeful that more boots won’t be put on the ground to help the battered country.